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Learning Commons

Upgrade to Bridges in May

The Bridges/Sakai learning management system will be upgraded on Monday, May 22, 2017. During the upgrade process the system will be unavailable. Some of the enhancements include:

  • A new mobile-friendly interface that provides an optimized user experience on any device
  • New Gradebook that provides a faster, easier grade-entry capability in a spreadsheet-style interface
  • More powerful and flexible Lessons tool that allows for multi-column layouts
  • Improved Tests & Quizzes tool with over 30 enhancements including the ability to include image maps, allows for group and individual-specific settings and delivery, and a new side panel that allows students to track question progress
  • Mathematical Notation that can display LaTeX equations as mathematical notation on most pages.
  • Contact Us tool that provides feedback functionality for every course and project site

See more details on these features

Review a comparison of the current Bridges with the upgraded version.

View this short video introduction to Bridges/Sakai 11 (2:32 minutes)

From The Archives: The Fulton/Howe Collection: Valentine’s Day

by Heidi Benedict, University Archivist

The tradition of sending Valentines is not a new one. Family members, friends, and sweethearts were exchanging notes and gifts as early as the nineteenth century. Among the correspondence to Edith Howe, we found several home-made Valentines from the turn of the century.



Tech News: New Features for Panopto in 2017

 by Linda Beith, Director of Center for Scholarship, Assessment, Learning, Teaching & Technology

The Panopto video creation and streaming system has become a favorite tool for many faculty, students and staff for its ease of use. Anyone can create a narrated video of anything on their computer screen using just two buttons – Record and Stop.


Panopto is constantly improving their software and their latest release this month has some impressive additions including:

  1. INTERACTIVE QUIZZINGOptions include:
    • Inserting interactive quiz questions into any video
    • Allowing learners to retake a quiz
    • Showing learners their grade at the end of the quiz
    • Allowing learners to review correct answers and explanations
    • Prevent learners from watching the rest of the video until they take the quiz

  1. CAPTIONING – Addition of automatic speech recognition technology quickly turns a voice narration into closed captions that can be edited (and the captions are pretty accurate – greater than 70 %)! This allows users to quickly make their videos ADA compliant. Users can also edit the captions and customize the color, position and size of the video captions during playback.
  2. IMPROVED VIDEO EDITING– now includes custom preview images and support for working with slide decks. This means that you can select a custom thumbnail for the preview image for a video.
  3. New SLIDES tab in the editor allows a user to add individual slides to any point in a video.
  4. SMART SEARCH, which allows for a quick search of the narration in a video, has been expanded to include German and Spanish languages.
  5. Webcasting to more mobile devices – live streaming can now reach over 95% of all mobile device platforms with live video.

For more information on these new features, please see What’s New in Panopto 5.3?


If you would like assistance with any of these new features, please contact the CSALT2 /Instructional Design and Technologies team at id@rwu.edu or phone 401-254-3187.


New Library System is Live!

By  Betsy Learned, Dean of University Libraries

The University Library has completed its migration to a new library system, Worldshare Management Services (WMS). WMS Discovery is our library catalog and discovery service.  The tips below should help you learn to navigate your way through the changes. Since you will now be searching and have access to libraries across the country, as opposed to only the HELIN Consortium libraries, you may need help searching specific titles or topics. If so, please contact the Information Desk at x3375 or your library liaison for assistance.

1.   Please search WMS from the library homepage at http://library.rwu.edu or go directly to the Discovery search screen at https://rwulibrary.on.worldcat.org/.  (The former HELIN catalog link will no longer work.) Advanced searching options are available.

2.   In a single search, you can find items at the RWU Library, the HELIN libraries, and libraries beyond – and request those items be sent to RWU for your use. Be sure to use the facets on the left side of the results screen to focus your search. Because you are searching so many libraries, you will need to limit the search through the facets.

3.   Authentication from off-campus is your RWU single sign on—your username plus your domain (i.e. jsmith123@academics.rwu) and your default password.  This is the same login you use for the RWU Portal.

4.   Please let a library staff member know if something doesn’t seem to be working correctly or if you need help using the new system. Contact Us

Developing and Implementing Affordable Excellence with OER

Kelly Donnell from the School of Education, Lindsey Gumb from the University Library and Linda Beith from the Center for Scholarship, Assessment, Learning, Teaching & Technology co-presented at the New England Faculty Development Consortium’s Annual Fall Conference on November 18, 2016 at the College of the Holy Cross in Worcester, MA. The theme of the conference was Civic Engagement and Service Learning.

The trio’s interactive, 55-minute presentation was entitled: Developing and Implementing Affordable Excellence with OER. The focus was on the use of Open Educational Resources (OER) for both K-12 and higher education institutions to provide meaningful access to effective technology, current, high-quality texts, and Common Core State Standard resources. RWU’s OER Fellows program was introduced with examples of projects underway and OER collections under development.

Meet Dan Neal

by Barbara Kenney, Instructional Services and Campus initiatives Librarian



This fall the library has had the opportunity to host a graduate student from the University of Rhode Island’s Graduate School of Library and Information Studies. Dan Neal, who holds Master’s Degrees in both Religious Studies and History from Providence College, spends 10-12 hours a week in a Professional Field Experience, the goal of which is to learn all aspects of academic librarianship. In a profession that has seen rapid changes, it is important for students in the program to move beyond the classroom and into the environment they hope to join. When designing Dan’s PFE, we built in opportunities for him to teach, participate in librarians’ meetings, interview staff members, and begin exploring areas of scholarship he might pursue.



above: Dan Neal collaborates with Lindsey Gumb, Instructional Technology Librarian


While a PFE offers terrific opportunities for the student, it also provides a new lens through which the librarians can view ourselves and our work. From Digital Scholarship to Open Access initiatives, our ongoing conversations enable us to explore what gaps may exist between the academic program and the front lines of librarianship. The library staff is actively engaged in the education of a new library professional. His questions and insights help us reflect on what we do and how we do it. Collaboration is the foundation of librarianship today. It helps us improve what we do, and in this case, it helps the student gain a better working understanding of the challenges facing academic libraries today. Thanks, Dan, for joining us this semester!


Photos by: Megan Lessard/Roger Williams University Library

U.S. Government visits RWU Library

Joe Paskoski, Senior Outreach Librarian from the U.S. Government Publishing Office in Washington DC, visited the RWU Library which is a Congressional designated federal depository library.  Mr. Paskoski was interested to meet with staff, provide FDLP consultation services and provide guidance in the management of the RWU depository.  He also expressed an interest in our partnership with the Law School Library which provides law students with needed resources.  John Fobert, Depository Coordinator and Electronic Resources Librarian, introduced him to the staff and provided tours of the University Library, Architecture Library and the Law School Library where he met with John Schlinke, Architecture/Art Librarian and Stephanie Edwards, Law School Collection Services Librarian, respectively.  All involved agreed that it was a useful visit as we became aware of new services offered by the GPO.
Pictured from left to right:  Jackie Katz, Electronic Resources Assistant, John Fobert, Electronic Resources Librarian, Joe Paskoski, GPO Senior Outreach Librarian.

Sana Mustafa visits RWU as the first Talking in the Library speaker of the semester













Photos by: Megan Lessard/Roger Williams University Library

From the Archives: The Fulton Dedication and Exhibition

By Heidi Benedict, University Archives
On Saturday, August 27, 2016, following Convocation Exercises, the University dedicated the RWU Bristol campus as the newly renamed Fulton Campus. In 1965, Dr. Marshall N. Fulton and his wife Mary Howe sold over 60 acres of Ferrycliffe Farm, founded by her grandfather, to Roger Williams College. To commemorate their gift, the University unveiled an historic marker and named the main road on campus to Fulton Way.

1900_fultonhowe_homestead 1900, Family “Homestead,” where the University Residence sits today


The current Fulton family members donated their family papers to the University five years ago. The collection documents the history of the Farm and of the family. With correspondence making up the bulk of the collection, it is particularly strong in representing the family members’ personal and professional activities and interests, and demonstrates their affection for learning, travel, and each other. The Library has prepared an exhibit featuring family photographs and selected letters from the collection. The Archives hopes to have the collection completely processed by July 2017, marking the 100th anniversary of Mary Howe Fulton’s birth.


June 1940, Marshall and Mary Howe

University Archives Annual Commencement Exhibit



The University Archives Annual Commencement Exhibit for 2016 celebrates the 60th anniversary of the founding of Roger Williams College. A visual timeline highlights events from 1956-2016, and includes facsimiles of founding documents and newspaper articles, as well as commencement photos from 1956, 1966, 1976, 1986, 1996, and 2006. The exhibit will open Friday, May 13.



Roger Williams College awarded its first four-year degrees on June 4, 1970. Commencement exercises were held on the campus green in front of the library (now the Gabelli School of Business). James Payson Dixon, President of Antioch College, delivered the Commencement Address.



Marshall and Mary Howe Fulton received the Roger Williams College Award  in 1972 for their service to the College.  The award was first introduced in 1970.